I found some posts that were related to flicker problems with this model, but nothing that seemed to address this exactly, so thought I'd post and hope for some direction from the users here.
I have a Studio 1550 that's a few months old. I didn't use an external monitor for the first couple of months, but recently started using it with an Acer 23" monitor. While the laptop has the a/c adapter attached the screen "flickers" - horizontal lines up and down the screen. When I disconnect the a/c, no flicker at all.
The laptop's screen doesn't seem to flicker whether the unit is plugged in or not.
The monitor works fine with my desktop, and when the laptop is unplugged.
Could be a ground loop/electrical noise or the like, but I have it plugged into an APC back-up/surge protector and it is in my recording studio where I have updated all the outlets - and the power output reads pretty stable and reasonable on my multimeter.
Has anyone else seen this? Bad unit, or something that I might be able to do to test further? The machine is still under warranty, so I don't want to fool with it to a point where I void something. Wanted to see if you might have some good thoughts, though.
Thanks in advance for your time.
I found another user with the same issue as me:
http://en.community.dell.com/forums/p/19288702/19532686.aspx#19532686 (last post on page 1):
"I am having a "flickering" problem but not on my 1555 laptop. My problem occurs when I attach an external monitor (also a Dell) and then plug in the battery charger. I immediately get distortion on the external monitor, but not on my laptop. When I unplug the charger both are perfectly clear. "
No reply to his post - it is from 9/Sep/2009.
Will try to collect others and post them under this thread.
I had a Dell tech come out and give me a new power supply and swap out the motherboard - Dell sent the wrong motherboard twice, so he had to make three trips to complete the job.
The updates did not fix the problem.
After looking around online, though, I found some people who had the same or similar issue and resolved it by using a three- to two-prong adapter. I figured, it's worth a shot, so picked one up today and plugged it in. No more flickering.
I had tried plugging in the monitor and laptop into separate outlets, running them through a power conditioner, and many other things - leading up to the motherboard and power adapter replacement. A $0.90 part from Home Depot appears to be all that was necessary, though.
I don't think that this is the best solution - or, really, a very good one. But, it works for now. Dell may want to invest in some 2-prong power adapters instead of just sending out new motherboards for any video issue.
If anything else changes, I'll update this thread.
THANK YOU so much for the adapter trick! My monitor has been giving me headaches due to the constant waves. I thought it was interference from my iPhone or wireless mouse or something and no matter what I did, the waves wouldn't stop. Just switched to the two-prong adapter and VOILA! I wish I could send you cookies.